Public Notice: Keep it local Suburban Life, Cook County Suburban Publisher’s

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By L. Nicole Trottie, Publisher

PROVISO TOWNSHIP | Cook County Accredited Newspaper Association analyzed Public Notice data and placement for the Village of Bellwood located in Proviso Township.

The analysis includes Foreclosure Notices placed by Cook County Suburban Publishers (CCSP) for the Village of Bellwood, zip code 60104, between April 5 – May 31, 2017.

Cook County Suburban Publisher’s is a Public Notice Advertisement Placement organization that places Public Notice ads in Cook County accredited newspapers.

Public Notice is a dichotomy of a legal and public nature.

The Il Public Notice Act (715 ILCS 5/) Notice By Publication Act requires Legal Notice to notify the subject of a legal action or a matter in which a legal action affects him or her.  The law requires Legal Notice to publish for a period of 3-consecutive weeks.  The law requires Public Notice to notify the community of a legal action or matter, which affects the general population within a community.  Thus, if a neighbor’s home enters into foreclosure the neighbor(s) and neighborhood impacted by the foreclosure is made aware by Public Notice of a nature affecting their property value.  If the subject matter enters in judgment by the lender he or she is made aware by Legal Notice and the Serving Process via the Sheriff.  The Legal and Public Notice is required by law to publish for a period of 3-consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation within the county.   Public Notice mandate and the placement of notices non coincidentally vary from county to county.   Dupage County Public Notice is published in the accredited newspaper that “actively” serves the community.

The Law Bulletin procures a significant number of Cook County’s Legal Notices through private law firms,  county government agencies, and citizens including but not limited to liens, demolition, assumed business name, indigent- pauper, and other notices.  The Law Bulletin publishes the Legal Notice intended to serve a subject of a legal matter in the The Law Bulletin “newspaper”, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, for a period of 3-consecutive weeks.

So let’s say you’re a resident of Maywood or Bellwood, your mortgage lender enters a judgement against you resulting in a lien against your property, in Cook County the Legal Notice of judgement, will likely publish in Law Bulletin.  The Law Bulletin is a subscription based online and print legal newspaper of general circulation, according to its web site.  The Law Bulletin’s print and online service charges a subscription fee.  The cost for a 6 month subscription is $225.   If you’re a resident of the Village of Maywood, which boasts 21 percent unemployment, according to Illinois Unemployment Dept., and 97 percent African American in population, so hard hit by subprime lending the Federal government issued emergency foreclosure relief funds, the Law Bulletin offers a 1-year subscription rate of $299. That’s a steal folks!  Order yours today.

Click here to Sign the Petition:  Illinois Legal Notice: Keep It Local

The Digital Divide component, applicable to Maywood, Bellwood, and Broadview, shoots excessive holes in the Illinois Press Association, Public Notice Illinois, equal online access theory.  The Digital Divide legislation, set forth by Illinois, and birthed in Maywood, acknowledges the disparity between race and class of rural, urban and minority populations and the disproportionate access to technology and the internet.

After the Law Bulletin’s publication of Legal Notice, they send it to Cook County Suburban Publishers for Public Notice placement.  CCSP has a network of accredited newspapers with which they place the notices, among them West Suburban Journal.   The West Suburban Journal will have published news of Proviso Township 13-years in August.    Its circulation and active news coverage include Maywood, Bellwood, Broadview, Westchester, Hillside and news of surrounding municipalities.

A total of 63 Bellwood Foreclosure Public Notices (see chart below) were placed by Cook County Suburban Publishers, between April 5 and May 31, 2017.   Of the 63 notices, 39, 54% were placed in the Suburban Life Newspaper of LaGrange.  LaGrange Suburban Life runs the notices, at its discretion, across its Riverside Suburban Life weekly.  CCSP placed 29 Bellwood public notices, 46 percent, in the West Suburban Journal.

Screen shot of Suburban Life online web site

Cook County Accredited Newspaper Association reached out to Suburban Life Newspapers.  When asked about Suburban Life circulation in Bellwood, Broadview, Westcher and Hillisde, Bill Korbel, Advertising Director, said “we don’t circulate there.”  Korbel added, “we’re zoned…we circulate in LaGrange, and Riverside, and as far South as Berwyn and Cicero.”  He added, “we might have 50 newspapers”.

West Suburban Journal actively covers select Proviso Township communities.  The WSJ Bellwood, Broadview, Maywood, Westchester and Hillside news and sports average more than 300 – 1,200 views per story, per week.   The West Suburban Journal is distributed free in bulk throughout high traffic areas of Maywood, Bellwood, Broadview, Westchester and Hillside.  West Suburban Journal online news web site is free and made available in various languages.

Suburban Life is a weekly paid subscription.  The “introductory annual subscription” costs $34, according to Suburban Life.  In addition, Suburban Life, charges $99 per annual online subscription rate.  They provide “some content” at no cost, according to an online statement.  Our search on the Suburban Life web site did not return news for either Maywood, Bellwood, Broadview, Westchester or Hillside communities.  There is a drop down menu for Broadview, Westchester and Hillside, but no relevant news related content.  There is no drop down menu for the village’s of Bellwood or Maywoood, at last check July 1, 2017.

Kevin Nolan, west suburb, resident, and U.S. Federal Agent

Chicago West Suburban residents interviewed by West Suburban Journal don’t take lightly the matter of Public Notice misappropriation.  “Public Notice is intended to inform the community and residents…. that’s just wrong. ” Kevin Nolan, a West Suburban resident and U.S. Federal Agent said.  Nolan added, “If my neighbor’s house foreclosed, or my house for that matter, I want to know that my property value is affected by a foreclosure….I want to know what bank to call if the foreclosed home falls into disrepair, or the grass is not cut, or squatters move in… it’s not the village’s responsibility to monitor a foreclosed home, it’s the banks.”, Nolan said.  “How am I made aware of anything when Public Notice is not published in my local newspaper.” Nolan said.

Betty Williams, a resident of Maywood, said, “It’s all greed…what they doing to black communities…”   Williams added, “I think it’s important to know what goes on in the village, why else have public notices.”  “I like to know.” Williams said.

Darnell Davis formally lived in a Maywood apartment located on 5th Ave.  Davis said notice of foreclosure is important to apartment rental tenants. “We used to live on 5th Ave.  The building we lived in was foreclosed, but the landlord never told us.  He kept collecting rent from us [tenants], next thing we know the lights out, the heat off, the electricity cut off, and we all on the street… women, children, everybody with nowhere to go.” Davis said.  Notice of foreclosure in West Suburban Journal would have informed us early on, Davis explained.  “West Suburban Journal is our only paper.” Davis added. “Why I gotta go to Oak Park, River Forest or LaGrange and pay for a newspaper to read Maywood notices.”

To the Law Bulletin’s $299 annual subscription fee Williams commented, “I never heard of no Law Bulletin… I never seen or read no Law Bulletin newspaper and I was born and raised in Maywood.” said Williams.  Williams added, “I can’t afford $299 and why should I pay when I got a free newspaper.”

The West Suburban Journal assisted women and children of the foreclosed rental property, where Davis formally resided, to find temporary housing through Maywood-based Proviso Leyden Council for Community Action (PLCCA).

Both Williams and Davis manage living expenses on fixed income.  Williams, 68, is retired.  Davis, 34, receives Sec 8 housing vouchers.  Neither have access to the internet.

Jim Ringess, General Manager, Northwest Herald, Shaw Publishing, is a Board Member and officer of Cook County Suburban Publisher’s.

Public Notice Placement & Mileage Analysis:  Bellwood Foreclosure Public Notice placed by Cook County Suburban      Publishers:

Suburban Life, Shaw Publications, and West Suburban Journal distance in mileage from publication origination:

Newspaper          Maywood     Bellwood     Westchester      Hillside

WSJ Maywood     0 Miles          2.3 Miles     4.1 Miles          3.3 Miles

WSJ Bellwood       2.3 Miles      0 Miles         2.2 Miles         1.1 Miles

WSJ Hillside          1.1 Miles       1.1 Miles      2.9 Miles         0 Miles

LaGrange SL         7.2 Miles      5.4 Miles      3.2 Miles         6.2 Miles

Riverside SL          4.1 Miles      6.2 Miles      4.1 Miles         7.0 Miles

Pie Chart Analysis of Public Notice Foreclosure placed by Cook County Suburban Publishers from April 5 – May 31, 2017:




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